Open ‘Mic’ Discussion #19

microphoneIt’s that time again for you guys to take control of the topics that are most important to you.

Yes, this is Open Mic #19 and we know there must be some things that are going on that you can either ask questions about, share your experiences – or maybe just do a little venting.

Anyways, the floor is all yours!

Feel free to discuss anything…

  • What’s on your mind?
  • Have any successes to share? Big or small. (It would be nice to hear some of these!)
  • Got a question? Ask it.
  • Do you have any problems or situations that you’d like the community to offer their opinions on?
  • Any good books you’d like to discuss?
  • What are you and/or your spouse doing to further the healing and recovery in your relationship?
  • What’s working or not working?
  • Has your therapist given you any good advice or exercises that the rest of the readers might benefit from?
  • What has your spouse done lately that really pisses you off?
  • What has your spouse done lately to make you really happy?
  • Summer is here.  One  month to go until we head out on a family vacation.  Do you have any grand vacations planned? Tell us about it.

Please don’t be shy. If there is anything whatsoever on your mind, please leave a comment below.

Thanks!

Linda & Doug

 

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43 Responses to Open ‘Mic’ Discussion #19

  1. Joey June 9, 2015 at 10:33 am #

    Hello! Hope everyone is doing well – I could be better – our Blackhawks our down 2-1 🙁

    Anyways – I have a question for people and need some advice on how to handle my situation. I am no longer with my unfaithful partner. After many false reconciliations and DDays that culminated in me catching them red handed, I broke it off and had to move on. I felt bad that I wasn’t as strong as so many of you amazing people who are fighting tooth and nail to save your relationships, but I just got exhausted. To this day, she blames me for everything and tells me that I have to change.

    My question is this – for those of you who are in limbo or are separated or have ended the relationship, do any of you have a spouse/partner that insists that you remain best friends. My ex calls, emails, texts numerous times a day to check in, talk about how she misses me, and how she misses her AP (who is reconciling with his wife) and acts like we should be the best of friends. I am a pretty laid-back person so I tell her this needs to stop but she doesn’t get the message. Why would she want to remain friends after all the hurt she has caused? She talks about how she still loves him, still loves me, and she won’t accept not having me to support her through all of this. I think she is still in the fog because she is so irrational. I don’t want to be friends – I proposed for a reason!!! I wanted more than that and I don’t think it’s fair for her to expect me to get over her withdrawal, which has been going on forever!!

    Anyways – what do you guys think I should do? If I blocked her, she would probably just show up at my doorstep, and I guess part of me doesn’t want to be mean because no matter what she has done, I don’t want to be a jerk… Any advice would be helpful. If I didn’t explain very well, I am happy to add more.

    • Scott June 9, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

      Don’t answer her calls. Don’t answer her texts. If she shows up at your doorstep, tell her you do not have time to talk. If she pushes simply tell her, “I have a lot of friends. None of them would ever do what you did to me. Please, leave me alone. If you insist, I will get a court order prohibiting you from contact.”

      “felt bad that I wasn’t as strong as so many of you amazing people” You need to read the next blog post on Dr. Winch. As I said then, it’s not weak or strong to stay, or weak or strong to leave. That’s a myth. Multiple instances of cheating, lying, betrayal doesn’t mean you’re weak because you left, it means you’re strong because you tried everything you could to save your marriage and SHE didn’t care enough to make it work. Has NOTHING to do with you. You left for your own self preservation and your emotional health. That’s nothing to ever ever ever be ashamed of or minimize. Dude, you made it through hell. Congratulations. And the tour guide in hell wants you to go back down there with her.

      She wasn’t nice to you for one minute pal. She abused you. She desecrated your love. You have every right to walk away and firmly tell her she is no longer part of your life, by her own choice, now she can live with that choice, alone, and she must stop bothering you now, or you will make sure she does not bother you by getting an order of protection.

      Don’t play games with this person. She’s not healthy for you to be around.

      • Rachel June 10, 2015 at 7:00 am #

        Scott is right Joey.
        Zero contact. And don’t answer them. IGNORE! It’s hard at first but you are just feeding their crazy Narcisstic minds.
        My ex emailed me last in January. I told him to stop and one more I will go to the authorities for harassment.
        He is already in contempt of court so he’s very close to having his skinny ass in the slammer.
        Haven’t heard from him since!

  2. TryingHard June 9, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    OK how about this “Listen Doll I’d love to listen to you and I truly feel very sorry for you. But I really have to let you go and get off this phone. I have to get ready. I have a date.” ? Or how about talk to her very distractedly like watch a sporting event or something and cheer for your team right in the middle of her rants/whines? Respond with very non-committal uh huhs. Leave a lot of very pregnant pauses as if you just laid the phone down. Feign the phone is cutting out and you didn’t hear what she said maker her repeat herself a few more times and then just say, “hmmm interesting”. Act bored, change subjects like about the weather or your favorite hockey team.These are all very passive ways to deal with her calling you because if this were my case it would be “eff you bitch, DON’T CALL ME ANYMORE!!!”

    I feel for you Joey. You sound like a very kind human being. Something I didn’t think existed anymore in this world. But just because you are kind doesn’t mean you allow people to dump on you. As Bette Davis said “What a Bitch!” I suggest you treat her as such.

  3. TryingHard June 9, 2015 at 11:53 am #

    Joey, Read this!!

    http://www.chumplady.com/2015/06/why-no-contact-works

  4. showmehowtoheal June 9, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    Hello…….
    Trying to maneuver my way around the site & just saw this open mic, great moment to ask a question or two…….so many to ask,.. but right now lets deal with today..(sharing a little background first)…….

    D-day was Feb 7, 2014. Its a long story (aren’t they all), that I promise to post, its just hard to look back sometimes. Anyway……my CH stopped his PA in Oct 2014 when I kicked him out (2nd time), this was for about 3 weeks, & he begged me to come back, wrote me a note on how much he missed me & how ‘he never cared if he ever spoke to her again!’….. and to my knowledge gave up his contact with her via his burner phone until we returned from what we both described as our wonderful yearly ski vacation in mid-Feb 2015, where he has since been having an EA (& as of last few weeks, maybe a PA?, don’t know). He is seeing a therapist, but has not been truthful, based on our discussions and he admitted to me that his therapist has not asked about any contact with the OW, so he has not offered the info. I am still sometimes in la-la land, and after stumbling onto him with the new burner phone in February and asking him what he was going to do now that I know, because I don’t want him to give me another phone (minus the sim/battery of course), so he can just go spend our hard earned money to get another one!……he said he would talk to the therapist to try & find out why he felt he had to call her, try to figure out whats going on with himself, so that we don’t do this all over again. OMGosh, hit me with a hammer on my head, I know. He has had me believing for the last few months that I don’t cuddle & touch him enough and once he saw that I could change & everyday show him…..that he would let her go…again. I know, I know…as I type this I want to cry / kick myself,….this is all soooo stupid it seems, but he has a REAL problem and I don’t know how to help him stop. Yes, I want to help him and I can’t get it through my head that ‘he has to help himself and do the tough work’. (note: 30 year anniv at end of this month)

    So……I want to start to withdraw, with Love……We have a business together (me-office, him-field) and we have a lot to coordinate together, but some days could go by without much conversation at all. How to do it? I have already started to Smile a lot more, appear happy, when I am not and I stopped putting my head on his shoulder when we go to bed at night, we just hold hands & kiss before going to bed…..and he is giving me funny looks about it, so that’s why I think its possible he is seeing her again, he is feeling sorry for himself and mad at me……but WHO CARES. I have several times said I am SO OVER THIS. (I go to a therapist also, when I feel I need her) This is not what my life /. our lives should be.

    I could keep going on, but the question is………..

    What are some doing or not doing to withdraw? To show not interest, but still be kind.
    How much Love should I show? I have read some info on this site and am starting to use ‘The List’ someone posted, but to incorporate that into everyday & kisses & bed, where do I draw the line?

    Any help is appreciated and yes I know all situations are different and somethings could work or backfire.

    • CBb June 9, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

      ShowMe,

      I am almost 2 years past DDay and had same issue. My CH had an EA in late 90s that I knew from beginning. Girl was so obvious. But he denied it.

      Mid life crisis led to an EA/PA two years ago. It ended after a few months but restarted again. I was completely in the dark on this affair.

      We are still together & he is sorry and remorseful. He is trying hard.

      But I am struggling with things like he played me. We were in counseling and he swore up and down he wanted to get us/marriage back to what it was before EA/PA. Said in front of therapist. Two days later he is divorcing me for no rhyme or reason except to be w/ OW. Same issue you have.

      Now all of a sudden I am wonderful. Prior to that I could not do anything right.

      I resent not knowing what went on in my own life, how he was leaving and I did not know why (and I did not know about OW b/c he swore they were over).

      Why people lie and cheat. Just be HONEST if you no longer want to be married. My CH continued to lie about everything after I forgave him. Own your feelings and do the right thing, don’t just play people. I have feelings too!

      Destroying my self-esteem.

      But I have been able to take a step back and look at what where we are. There are days that are good and days that I relive the nightmare. But I now put ME first. I see things differently. My H will not miss his basketball league for any reason (not even sex and yes it did happen). Even my therapist was shocked about that! He will inadvertently or unknowingly not be there some times when I really need him. So I try not to emotionally be dependent upon him for things as it does not always work out for me.

      I make sure I have the life I choose to live. I can look at myself in the mirror and know I gave my best, am a good person and if our marriage does not survive, I did everything I could. I am financially preparing myself for the future. I also made my CH sign a post nup agreement so any $ I have in my name, he does not have access to.

      I think I needed to stop romanticizing this person/relationship. He was/is the love of my life BUT I am no longer putting up with his crap.

      He did something a few weeks ago where he did not tell me something about our son. I was so upset that he kept some information for days. No good reason tondo this. I realized HE has the communication issue. He will try hard for a few weeks but then goes back to same old, same old. During his affair he accused me of not communicating. All his friends will tell you if you ask him a serious question, he will avoid answering, make a joke and change the subject. And I don’t communicate? That is just plain bull. I was always willing to accept it and when he did open up, I was happy but I did not force it. I accepted him for who he was. Now that I want it to change and I strive for more communication from him, I keep hitting a wall.

      My suggestion is to map out your own life/future. Be nice and kind, kiss him when you want to and don’t kiss him when you don’t want to. It appears he is trying to control it all. He wants you as his living wife and his OW.

      My CH changed when I was making changes and started putting myself first (in a nice way). I was not mean but I was firm. He knew I meant business.

      Start planning your exit just in case you need it. You do not want to be caught short or in the middle of anger. Plan while you are logical and calm. It could make a difference for your outlook and could bring about positive changes. You never know.

      My H is afraid I will leave him now. I don’t want to be hurtful but you created this situation, not me. He says ton this day he had no idea the and fall out this huge mistake would have. I am waiting for the day when he leaves b/c the guilt is too much to bear. It would not shock me.

    • exercisegrace June 9, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

      Showme, he is playing you for time. He doesn’t want to end the marriage but he is not willing to give up the affair partner. You need to be clear in your mind how long you are willing to live in marriage with three people. Then you go from there. Establish boundaries in your own mind. You might need to separate for awhile until he is able to make up his mind and either commit FULLY to the marriage and engage in an HONEST effort at counseling (because right now? he is basically wasting his time). Whatever boundaries you decide upon, enforce them. If you have to work together, keep it professional and pleasant. It might take a jolt of understanding that you are prepared to move on with your life to make him choose. RIght now it sounds like he has his cake and he’s eating it too. Why change?

  5. TryingHard June 9, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    I just want to say how great it is to be hearing from the men!!! I love what you have to say. I love your pragmatic approach to this crap! Please keep posting.

    Scott, I agree completely what you told Joey. I don’t know if he can do what you suggested. I think he’s probably that nice–to his own detriment.

    I would love for him to do exactly what you said, but why is it he can’t simply do it? Why hasn’t this occurred to him before? I mean crap she’s crying on HIS shoulder about her effing boyfriend!!! What the hell kind of person is this? Who on earth is “nice” enough to listen to this more than once?

    I’m hoping you have some male input on this 🙂

  6. Joey June 9, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

    Thanks for your comments TryHard and Scott – I appreciate them! Logically, you guys make complete sense and provide the plan of action that I should follow, but for some reason, it is a constant battle. I just want the breakup to go smoothly and not be hostile. We have many of the same friends who I don’t want to put in an awkward situation.

    I think I have a hard time for two reasons – one – she has already said horrible things about me for ending the relationship and some people have said that I gave up too early. I think it is her main goal to be looked upon as the innocent party and if she does her best to remain friends with me, she is showing people that she is the bigger person – kind of manipulative in my eyes.

    I also think it is hard for me to just cut herself out of my life so permanently and definitively because I invested so much into that relationship – over half of my life. We have been through so much and it is hard to come to terms with that fact that someone who was such a lovely, caring person has changed so dramatically.

    I guess the sad thing is that I still remember the good times and it wasn’t all bad – I need to let go and stop thinking that she is going to be that girl who made my world stop every time she walked into a room. I miss that girl 🙁 Another depressing truth in the life of betrayed – we aren’t the ones who fell out of love – the cheater was. Definitely having a bad day I think….

    • CBb June 9, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

      Joey. She is playing you to make herself look good AND to make sure she still has her crutch (you) at her fingertips when SHE decides she needs you.

      She is trying to ease her guilt to remain friends or in some relationship with you.

      It is hard to know what to do when you still love her.

      Suggestion – look at her now for what she is, not for what she was. I agree this is hard. I have been with my CH for 30+ years. I now see things differently. I see me differently.

      Don’t continue to make excuses for her.

      Don’t let others tell you how to feel or that you ended it “too soon”. Are they in a relationship with a cheater? If not they have NO IDEA what bit feels like or how hard this is.

      If she talks openly about the other guy, she has so many issues that it would take years of therapy to get to the root of the problem. But she has no respect for you if she does that.

      YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO BE HER FRIEND.

      This appears to be an emotionally abusive person. I was in this type of relationship years ago. No physical abuse but verbal and emotional abuse that I suffered. Guy was so insecure but I did not see it at that time. My son in high school has gone through the same situation.

      Only you will know when you are done. It just may be you wake up one day and you decide enough is enough. Therapy can help (it helped my son).

      You invested years with someone who is not what they appeared to be. You found out their true character. You know what your future could be with this person. It is up to you to decide. It will be hard to walk away. But could be worth it in the end. You could possibly meet someone better.

      Don’t fall for her crap. At least operate with your eyes wide open. I applaud you for your courage in ending it. I think you did the right thing FOR YOU.

    • exercisegrace June 9, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

      Joey, ask yourself how you would feel if she ends up getting back together with her AP? It sounds like she would be with him if he would have her. She sounds like a master manipulator. I would just tell her (and the mutual friends, if need be) that it is too painful for you to be in such constant contact. Tell everyone who needs to know, that YOU need time to heal and rebuild your life. She had enough chances, she made her choice. It is not YOUR responsibility to make her or anyone else feel “good” about her awful choices. It’s not up to HER to write the end of your story ( as in…see? we are best buds now and it was a good thing I cheated!). Set boundaries. Maybe you need six months of no contact. Maybe less or maybe more. You might be comfortable with emails once a month or once a week. It is up to YOU. I would send her polite, yet firm email outlining what YOU NEED and what you are willing to do and not do as far as communication. Be clear that anything falling outside of that will be ignored. Radio silence.

    • CBb June 9, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

      Joey as for your circle of friends you can say short sentence – “we are not together anymore and we should all move on”. this way there is no “sides” to be taken, you are not saying anything negative (about her) and it shuts the door on future conversation with anyone.

      It makes you look good and decent and with some shred of respect for her.

      It also stops the vicious cycle of her and the break up of always being in your face. If you won’t talk about it, eventually your friends will no longer bring it up. And for those that need a few more reminders, simply saying “we are no longer together and we should all move on” should help them get the message.

      Class all the way!

      • Strengthrequired June 10, 2015 at 5:18 am #

        Today I go to a furniture store to buy a bed for my little girl, well while I am there and asking the sales person a question about our previous order, guess what? I found out my husband has bought cousin scragit a heap of furniture for the place he rented her a few years ago. All I see now is him and her acting like they were a happy married couple holding each other’s hand as they buy furniture for her and her children.
        So not only did he give her some of our furniture he bought her a heap too. Now this brought a heap of emotions back to me today, and I am upset.
        Funny how they think they can get away with things little do they realise, these things come back and bite them sooner or later.
        Now I have a question for you all. When you look at your cs do you see them the same as you used to see them, or have you lost a bit if that loving feeling?
        I sure as hell don’t see him as the man I fell in love with and married, and things like this keep proving that to me.

        • exercisegrace June 10, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

          SR, No I don’t see the man I used to see. There is good and bad news there. The bad news is, I will never fully trust him again. He cheated, lied and deceived. He did things I would have sworn on my life he would never do, would never have been capable of doing. The good news is, he is acting much more like the man I used to know. He is more involved with both me and our kids, he seems to appreciate what he almost lost. I am much wiser now. I know that NO marriage is “affair-proof”, no matter how good or bad it may be at it’s core, and no matter how much work you put into it. Because the marriage isn’t the issue. It’s an issue inside of the cheater. I have a better understanding of who I am, what MY character is all about and I know what I’m made of. Sounds cliche, I know, but it’s true. I see things clearly, I am working on ME, putting myself first sometimes when that is something I never did. I am letting go of stewing about who he is and what choices he is making. Dont’ get me wrong, he is doing all I ask. I am just not putting my focus there. I am regaining MY sense of worth, and it doesn’t revolve around how he “grades” me on any given day as a wife or mother.

          • TryingHard June 10, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

            SR—^^Ditto for me. Awesome EG!

            • Antiskank June 11, 2015 at 12:38 am #

              SR, I am so sorry that you have to deal with this crap. There just doesn’t seem to be any safe place where you can get away from it. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
              I definitely don’t look at my CH the same way I once did. I trusted him completely and he would have been the last person I would have expected would betray me. I admired his integrity, his honesty, his values and his willingness to help others. Then…. He cheated and everything changed! He was not the person I trusted with my life, the person I loved with all my heart. He was a lying cheat with no morals, no values, no integrity. And the people he liked to help….. Oh yeah, all women he wanted to be the hero for.
              Now I feel quite differently. Do I love him? Not sure, I think so but not the way I did. Although we have not resolved many of the issues around the affair, we continue doing the dance to hold our marriage together. I don’t put in as much effort as I did in the beginning. I don’t feel the pain as intensely but I’m not sure that is a good thing. A counsellor told me that feeling the pain and anger was good in some ways. It was one way of knowing that you cared and were more likely to fight for what you wanted. She said if you start to feel indifference toward your spouse, you probably are not going to put in much effort as you just don’t care enough. I worry that I may be in that mindset these days.

              • Rachel June 11, 2015 at 6:53 am #

                Antiskank,
                Great words you used, “no value, no morals”.
                Yet, my ex is a big church going catholic.
                We have to realize that we can’t change these critters and I thought I could . Who was I kidding. I feel like a fool now as I think back. But I believe age, wisdom and reality helped me understand that you can’t change anyone!
                Have a good day all!

                • Strengthrequired June 11, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

                  Rachel, we definately can’t change them, it’s upto the person to change for the better. It’s completely out of our hands.

              • Strengthrequired June 11, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

                Antiskank, still love your user name, lol. Here with you on that one.
                Thankyou, I am ok, don’t think I will be willing to run into that store again, just another place that now is tainted with bad thoughts.
                The other day I was angry at my ch, didn’t really want to look or even talk to him. He tells me it’s in the past, and he has no intention on doing anything for anyone ever again. I say, we will see. I don’t think he likes being called gullible and easy for his relatives to manipulate. Which is true, he may as well carry around a huge “S” on his forehead.
                For me though, these things that come to light aren’t new to him, which is why he says history, yet it is new for me, so nowhere near ready for the history books just yet.
                I know what you mean when you say you think you are done caring, I have been there, and I actually wondered if I truly loved him anymore. Yet I know I love him, I think just really disappointed in him that he let this happen to us.

            • Strengthrequired June 11, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

              Eg, th, I truly don’t see him in the same eyes, I love him, but at times I wonder if I love him less than before, because of his affair. You both know how hard we tried to keep our marriages together, only to have that huge disappointment in our hearts, carrying it around with us each and everyday since.
              My cyber sisters… Take care

              • exercisegrace June 12, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

                SR, I do carry it. I have worked hard to put it down and I am tired of carrying it. Often I have large degrees of success and it gets easier as time goes by. I love him and I want our marriage to work. But he did some very permanent damage. We will never be free of what he did to us. Our counselor said to let it become part of our history, but some parts of our history continue to impact us.

                • Strengthrequired June 12, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

                  Eg, it’s funny how we always need to find a way to keep working at just letting it go. We just keep paying the price for our cs stupid actions.
                  I want my marriage to work too, yet it’s so hard at times.

        • Joey June 11, 2015 at 10:29 am #

          Absolutely Strengthrequired-

          I remember during one of our false reconciliations, my ex told me how she was totally wrong about me and her perception of me during her affair was irrational. She rewrote our history and painted me as this horrible person who didn’t love her and didn’t meet her needs. But then she said she was wrong to think that – of course, once she resumed her affair, I was back to being the monster in her eyes.

          I looked at her and very calmly stated that I was wrong about her too. I was wrong to think that she was loving and caring. I was also wrong to think that she would never hurt me. Did she meet all of my needs? Absolutely not – but I didn’t have this false belief that anyone could meet all of your needs. I thought we were a team, but that certainly backfired.

          Isn’t it ironic that the cheater justifies the affair because their spouse was so horrible and didn’t meet their needs, but when the affair is discovered, they want us to forget about it and build a stronger relationship, despite the fact that they completely trampled over our needs and feelings? Do cheaters think they are meeting their betrayed spouse’s needs, or is that just another irrational justification they have – “well I am the perfect spouse but my wife/husband doesn’t care, so I deserve to cheat” – It is all so frustrating. I am exhausted trying to make sense of it all.

          • Strengthrequired June 11, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

            Joel, sorry that you found yourself in this situation, along with the rest of us. Your cw definately sounds like a foolish woman, she has a good man right in front of her and she does this.
            Please don’t let her talk to you about her ap, it is wrong on so many levels, she is so inconsiderate. If my ch ever tells me again that he loves her and me ever again, then he can pack his bags and go straight to her, and enjoy his love interest without me.
            There was one time after several ddays, I turned to my husband and told him that we need to seperate, so he can be with her, (had several of those conversations). This particular time he said, he didn’t want her, he wanted me (again), and then told me that if I was to break our family up, then I was being selfish, because he wanted our marriage, and it was ialready over with the ow.
            I actually couldn’t believe it at the time, that he was going to call me selfish if I walk away from our marriage, as he was the one that wouldn’t let go of the ow time and time again for more than a year, and now that I was finally at the end of my rope, feeling done, it would then be my fault (again) for leaving.
            Of course we didn’t seperate, and things are ok, he likes to forget his indiscretions, me want to forget, but it’s hard. There are reminders.
            There is the trust that is lost, there is the feeling of nolonger feeling safe or secure.
            Now I love him, he has taken some time to get back to anywhere near the person he was prior to the affair, and he is trying to make amends.
            you just start taking each day as it comes and hope that the further away from dday, the better, and the closer to a more peaceful future.

    • Scott June 10, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

      Joey, this is the really sucky part. It really is.

      Start with this simple truth. This is not the person you married. This is not the person you think you married. This is not the person you imagine yourself still married to. This person DID NOT share what was wrong with her. She did not take the time, or appreciate your kindnesses, your nature, and did not trust you enough to tell you what she was going through. She chose to run to a fantasy. And when you showed kindness she spit on that and continued to harm you. She’s using you as a buddy. Name a single buddy that you’d be friends with if they stole from your business, or raped your sister. God put out 10 commandments pal. Two of them deal with cheating (thou shalt not covet and thou shalt not commit adultery), and only one with murder. Jesus even said the greatest sin of man is the murder of love. And don’t read the soft hearted muzak version of Jesus either, if you are religious, he was HUGE on personal responsibility.

      She wants to be your friend because SHE HAS A GUILTY CONSCIENCE. Make her own her guilt. You being friendly only makes her feel like her actions are okay because you’re okay with her actions…being friends means, gosh, it’s not that big of a deal. Stop talking to her. Please.

      “I just want the breakup to go smoothly and not be hostile. We have many of the same friends who I don’t want to put in an awkward situation.”

      Well how nice for you. You just got dealt the sh*t sandwich of all time and you still want the world to make sense. If nothing else this only proves what a truly decent and nice guy you really are. But in the end, guess what? She’s going to leave. Some of your friends are going to take her side. The world is NOT fair pal, and you got a whole stew full of sewage that you’re forced to swallow. Don’t let the highs get too high, or the lows get too low. But understand, you are not married anymore. You’re not. You might have the piece of paper, but you don’t have a partner. And she only cares about herself. Period. She will do whatever she can to get what she wants. You play nice, she’ll cut your throat. It always starts nice. It rarely ends that way. Now you need to stop worrying about anyone but yourself. Get a good lawyer. Figure out what you want and what you’ll part with. Know you can’t win 100%, but if you get 51% that’s not so bad.

      “I think I have a hard time for two reasons – one – she has already said horrible things about me for ending the relationship and some people have said that I gave up too early. I think it is her main goal to be looked upon as the innocent party and if she does her best to remain friends with me, she is showing people that she is the bigger person – kind of manipulative in my eyes.”

      And this is the person you want to be nice to? This is the person you want to end up in kindness with, and have a jolly little divorce? C’mon. Read your own words my man! She’s ripping you to the rest of the world. And her friends, who gives a crap!!!! I lost a few in the divorce, but I was in their face when they told me what I should do. To hell with that. It’s my life, and I’m not going to spend my life with someone I can’t trust. She’s made the decision and now she’s trashing you? For real? She’s already playing dirty. You might as well go to the lawyer, give her an offer, and if she doesn’t take it, turn the evidence over to the lawyer and rip her to shreds. I’m furious for you! How dare she destroy your reputation when she’s out there playing around!!!!

      “I also think it is hard for me to just cut herself out of my life so permanently and definitively because I invested so much into that relationship – over half of my life. We have been through so much and it is hard to come to terms with that fact that someone who was such a lovely, caring person has changed so dramatically.”

      That’s the phenomena called “invested cost” or “sunken cost”. Which means you’ve taken the road to Abeline to get an ice cream cone, and rather than turn around and go home, you spend two hours in a steaming hot car and get a crappy ice cream cone. You’ve spent so much time building a life you look at the world around you and think in terms of losing all that. You spent 30 years or whatever with this person. But now you have to ask yourself, since you’re the only one who actually cares about that investment, is it time to take your losses and recover and move forward, or do you simply sit there waiting for the return of the imaginary woman you were married to. She’s busy not caring about your invested cost. Oh sometimes she’s going to say certain things that will make you think she gets it but believe me, at this point, when you’re divorcing, she’s already picked her townhouse and her scummy boyfriend – and she’ll hang from her own rope before she admits it’s all her fault. So let her move on. Your only job is to get healthy, and get happy without her.

      “I guess the sad thing is that I still remember the good times and it wasn’t all bad”

      Oh by the way, thank you for again exposing the fallacy that people don’t cheat unless the marriage was horrible. That’s such a bald faced lie. Of course there were good times, heck, I would bet you two had a bunch of fun, and a lot of laughs, and cool little inside jokes. You’re mourning. You remember good and bad. You’re starting to accept a loss. It’s okay. It hurts, you know the truth and others assume to know the truth, but you are grasping what’s happening to you, and believe me, there’s no fun at all here. I mean none. But remember, your soon to be ex (STBX), decided to smear, obfuscate, taint, and wash over all those good times in the name of an affair. You know the truth. Hold your head up and be proud. You didn’t lose your ethics or your commitment. She did. You kept your word. You worked for your marriage. She did not. You have nothing to be ashamed of.

      “I need to let go and stop thinking that she is going to be that girl who made my world stop every time she walked into a room. I miss that girl 🙁 Another depressing truth in the life of betrayed – we aren’t the ones who fell out of love – the cheater was.”

      Do a little exercise here. Think about your past. And even your current world. How many nice attractive women do you remember thinking, gosh, she’s nice, I bet she’d be fun to hang out with…then start to reframe your thinking. You miss what you had and the expectation of what she was to you. There’s 5 billion people on the planet. Half are women. You will, I promise you, find someone that is truly worthy of your attention, love, commitment, affection, and ethics. I promise. I swear to you hand on the bible. Take some time, reconnect with you, do things you love, embrace the opportunity to hang out with the boys, take fishing trips, go to concerts, pick up the guitar. Yeah, we didn’t choose this. And it sucks big time. It may be the hardest thing you will ever go through. But you CAN do this. And again, I promise you, on the other side, you will be happy again. You will have fun, again. You will be the guy that people look at and think, “he went through hell and he’s stronger, maybe I can too.”

      You wanna know why? I was you November of 2012. I was crumbling inside. You can do this…trust me.

      “Definitely having a bad day I think….”

      You’re allowed. And from this point forward you’ll have many more. I only suggest you put a time limit on it. Tell yourself, I feel bad, and today I’m going to let my mind run. Tomorrow I will not. I’ll focus. And slowly my friend, ever so slowly, it will get better.

      • TryingHard June 10, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

        SCOTT—^^ GENIUS. Going to print it off and re-read it. You ROCK!!!

        • Rachel June 10, 2015 at 6:56 pm #

          Scott you should write a self help book. Awesome!!

  7. TheFirstWife June 10, 2015 at 7:26 am #

    Easy answer. You will never look at them the same. I just had the same experience 2 days ago. My CH said something that causd an issue. I realizd almost 2 years later he was not almost divorcing me for OW he was divorcing me b/c he no longer wanted to be married. He wanted to be available and live the single life.

    You cannot lie and cheat and play head games and threaten divorce and be in an affair, denigrate your spouse and treat them poorly and not have residual effects.

    I may be forgiving and kind and compassionate but I ain’t stupid. I cannot bury my head in the sand. It just doesn’t work like that.

    My H may never cheat again but that doesn’t mean I won’t occasionally wonder if he will in the future.

    That realization with the furniture makes you relive the nightmare all over again. That is something cheaters do not get!

    Funny thing I remembered a few weeks ago – many guys I dated cheated. When I found out I walked away without looking back. Many tried to reconcile but I would not give them the time of day. Now i have the internal struggle b/c I stayed in my marriage but these triggers do not help me at all.

    When you realize the depth of the deception it makes you re-think your life and marriage. I used to beg my H not to cheat. I told him that if he found someone better to please tell me so we can address our situation. If you are unhappy just say it so we can face it. Don’t cheat so I don’t have to lose all respect.

    Of course he had a mid life crisis for 2 years but never spoke about it. Affair was 1 year. Typical guy. Bury head in sand and don’t acknowledge anything wrong

    Wife left holding the bag and now having to deal with an upended life.

    But no, sorry I cannot ever look at you the same again. Good father, trying hard to make amends, but you will always be a liar and cheater. Cannot be erased.

  8. TrustingGod June 10, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

    Quick question–has anyone had any success with using meditation or self-hypnosis in aiding with the recovery process? I have been trying to do some affirmations and just started some self-hypnosis apps because I just don’t have the money for a therapist, and my self-esteem has come so low because of this, and recently realized that I have feelings of anxiety about the future and have a hard time with all of the emotions I am not allowed to express right now, unless I want to have my husband continue stonewalling me (and literally ignoring my existence). I have had some more positive feelings lately because of going out to job interviews, but the stress of living with my husband and having to pretend that everything is fine when it’s not is catching up with me. I just realized the other day that all the feelings of nausea I’ve been having lately are coming from trying to swallow feelings that shouldn’t have to be, and that it just can’t be done. I think I would go on antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds but I had to do that years ago and it’s part of what led to all the health problems I have to deal with now. It’s funny that I just realized that I needed to do that because I had no one to talk to or confide in, because my husband wasn’t there for me, and I had to swallow all my feelings then, too, because I was made to feel wrong for having them. I’m never sure whether to pray for a miracle in my marriage, or to just pray for the help to get away from someone who thinks he doesn’t need to change, even if he is destroying me.

  9. TheFirstWife June 10, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    I would try anything. Exercise or yoga or trainer/gym. Any outlet to release steam will help.

    When you start feeling better about yourself it will show.

    Try disengaging from him. He may “live” there but stop trying to make it work. Once you release that frustration for yourself, you may release the anger and stress and tension you feel.

    You may see him change when you no longer give a crap and he really sees he is not number 1 or 2 or 3. Once they cannot control the situation and lose control watch what happens.

  10. TryingHard June 11, 2015 at 10:53 am #

    Joey
    Often times I think couples get into the reconciliation of their marriage too soon after discovery of the infidelity. I think this is a huge mistake. There is no way you can even rationally discuss your marital problems when your partner is in the midst of an affair or even just over the affair, even if there is NC. You have to deal with the infidelity first then move on to problems in the relationship ie meeting needs, communication blah blah blah.

    Thing is they grasp at anything that will “justify” the affair. They will say stuff that confuses the headiness of the affair as an answer to their dissatisfaction in the marriage. There may very well have been needs you were ignoring but there are certainly better and more mature ways of handling those disappointments besides going to sleep with another person. Cheating just makes things worse.

    What you can’t do is parse what she says. Try to make rational that which is NOT rational talk or thinking. The cheater is having tremendous guilt and is scarred as well. She will try to put her shit on you but you have to wear your Teflon boxer shorts. You have to give no weight to what she says right now. She’s in the justify her own bad behavior mode. You will retort with your own defenses and you will even scratch your head and think WTF, what is she talking about???

    Now is NOT the time to discuss her bullshit made up excuses. If it makes you feel any better all cheaters do it. “Gosh honey if you’d only been there for me when my lawn mower wouldn’t start and I was so aggravated I wouldn’t have felt the need to go kick the trash can and go to bed with the first skank that jumped out of it!! It’s all your fault!!!” It’s all so much bullshit and the last thing you do is validate their bullshit with any kind of personal defense because trust me once you settle one excuse they will find another. They are itching for a fight or their own justification to go back to the AP. “see I was right she didn’t validate my need to be comforted after my lawn mower problems!!!”

    Just sayin Joey. Truly like evey one has said here if you are going to divorce the best thing to do is NC totally. I don’t know if you said you had children with her or not. If so it’s a little trickier but you sound like a very intelligent, empathic person that will be able to manage that. Seriously she doesn’t deserve you. She doesn’t deserve your goodness. And those mutual “friends”, HA find new ones. They are useless.

  11. showmehowtoheal June 11, 2015 at 11:57 am #

    Thank you for your responses….as I know we need to each choose our own path, but hearing other stories will sometimes make us think outside the box on what we are currently doing, based on what we are feeling, etc.……….

    CBb,
    I too had a marriage counseling session (June 2014) where I was totally blindsided. All something new to me I was a mess, because I was there for all the right reasons, but cried way too much during it, was lied to about the OW (made to think it was someone else), and spilled my guts embarrassing myself…..all the while thinking this is the man that would never do this to me. Prior, we had what we both thought was a great marriage and other couples looked up to us, as the ‘model’ couple. Well, I think we both neglected each other in the respect of intimacy. Anyway, what a waste that counseling was, and now I don’t want to be the one to initiate the ‘marriage counseling’ thing even though my therapist said she thinks that’s what we need at this point. Well, I think my CH needs to get a grip on ‘letting go’ and for him to suggest it, otherwise I am afraid we are headed down the same path as before. The merry-go-round of 3 that I want to get off and run as far away from as I can, …although hopeful that after that ‘break’ we might reconcile. Hmm….sound silly? Maybe, but I can’t help the ‘running away’, ‘I want a vacation from him’, etc feelings I have for this man I do Love so much. Something happened and he cannot open up to me, so what am I to do? He has no real male friend to talk to…..they all have their own problems and he doesn’t want to be really found out for the years of lies that he has told in order to pull this affair off the way he did. I don’t blame him and I have not told anyone except 2 very good girl-friends, that I trust & will take it to their grave. He did start seeking counseling, but who knows, after Monday night’s session, he didn’t share anything and 2 weeks ago (skipped last week), all he wanted to do was tell me how a questionnaire the councilor gave him showed how he needed more ‘touching’ to express intimacy.

    Exercisegrace,
    I absolutely believe you are right, he is playing me for time. Time to keep getting that ‘feel good’ feeling (yaknow) he gets from talking to her. I hate to say I am almost sick of him saying ‘I was never unhappy, I was Never unhappy’. I do believe he is saying this from the heart, but what is his head thinking???

    I recently talked to him about separation (instead of just the ‘get out’ speech), but that’s when he said he wanted to figure out the ‘why’ of needing to talk to her again, after 4 months of no contact.(?) And my thought process….this was about 3 weeks ago, was he is ‘trying’ with the therapist.

    He does have his cake and eating it too……Yup, I hear ya. I have already said this to myself, I guess I am still trying to figure out if I have given him ‘every’ opportunity, before pulling the ‘I don’t care anymore’, which is how I am getting thru this week. He asked me 2 days ago (because I am showing him happiness…and yet kisses, caring….he’s not use to my happiness lately)….anyway, he asked ‘What’s wrong? I know somethings wrong……..REALLY!! so….I told him, I need him to stop his ‘affair’. He said he’s not having an affair. Really, you are having an Emotional Affair and it all needs to end”……that’s pretty much it from me, and he said again……”I’m not having an affair”. REALLY!!, that’s all you have to say?. We went to dinner, kept it nice, because it’s been bad before, when we start a discussion and then you go do something together, just the two of you, and its awkward !! That’s so Foreign to me….awkwardness between the two of us who have been together 36 years of our lives! I have never felt that with him. Never.

    I know I have to wake him up to the reason to change. Again!….I thought I already did that? How many times can you kick a man out, before it destroys his ego/thought towards you? Me or the highway. He already knows that him and the OW would never work out (right now she has a new boyfriend), but she is a habitual ‘cheater’ (previous husband several times) and although my CH has broken all his manly rules (no sloppy seconds….OW was with CH friend, no woman that weights more than him….he’s 175, no woman that talks & talks & talks & never shuts up….that’s her, and he loves blondes and she’s brunette) …..hate to say anything nice, but although she is Witty, can be Fun to be with (she makes up stories), she is the total Opposite of me and he is under her spell. BTW….I can be funny and I am a fun person to be with, even though my conversation these days is ‘limited’, because my head is in a FOG!.

    I have not given him any ‘reading’ material as of yet & I am feeling I need to show it to him as my last resort to get thru to him, although I know this is not a ‘quick’ process. I am hoping that he will take some of the discussion I am hoping to have from it to his therapist. This weekend I plan on giving him the book I have been reading parts of called “NOT Just Friends” (Shirley P. Glass, Ph.D). This book has really ‘nailed it’ on what’s going on here for us. Just a couple sections to point out to him that are similar to our story and ….. I don’t know, maybe make him ‘think’.

    Thank you………..

    • CBb June 13, 2015 at 8:06 am #

      Tryingtoheal, I was in your same position twice. CH had an EA in late 90s during grad school. Denied it. I confronted him for YEARS. Finally after not speaking to him for 3 days he got the message. the lunatic OW called ME to ask if my H could go to a wedding with her “as friends”. I knew her and she tried being my friend to get to my H.

      Fast forward 2013 and the current EA/PA. My CH came and told me about the affair. I had no idea anything was wrong (some much younger woman with serious issues) that he worked with. He actually hired her to work for him. Anyway long story short it became a 6 month nightmare. He “ended it” but emotionally he missed her. He refused counseling and then 6 weeks later the affair resumed (I had no idea).

      My advice to you having been in your shoes where you are trying to make it work and he is not – STOP! You are trying to swim upstream. You are trying to make a difference to someone who does not hear you and does not care. You are bleeding raw emotion and he is not trying to stop the bleeding.

      I was there in your position so I know how it feels. Right now you are asking your CH to do the right thing and stop cheating. He is so emotionally confused and self centered he cannot do that. What does that tell you? He cannot get off the merry go round.

      But you, my friend, can.

      This is hard and probably the hardest thing you will ever do. But I swear this saved my sanity and my marriage.

      STOP TRYING TO FIX IT AND SAVE THE MARRIAGE. It just continues to feed the roller coaster ride.

      Suggestion- go the counselor just for you. Not for him. For you. Or find a different therapist to learn how to survive for yourself. I asked my CH to goto counseling but he refused. I went alone. Best thing I ever did. I was prepared for any outcome – divorce or reconciliation.

      When I finally stood up for myself I got my mojo back. You should know I only found out about the EA/PA by calling the other woman and asking her for help. My CH was acting crazy – we reconciled a few days before and then he comes home 2 days later and wants a divorce. Then later that night he doesn’t want a divorce. I knew something was up and I thought the OW may have a clue. I had non idea they were together for the past 6 months. WOW.

      So my suggestion as you are in the nightmare of this thing called life (I call it hell). Don’t ask him to “fix” it. Don’t ask him to end it (as he will lie and say he did when clearly he did not). Don’t ask him for anything. He is showing his hand. He cannot or does not want to stop.

      What you do now is make yourself (and children if you have them) a priority. Start putting $ aside just in case. Start cleaning closets and throwing crap out in case you move. Get your financial affairs in order. Have copies of every bank statement, IRA statement, insurance policy, health care policy, etc.

      Get up every day and play the “I am #1” game as I called it. I wasted months trying to rebuild and heal when it went nowhere b/c he did not want it. He was with the OW and nothing I could do was going to change his mind or make him see things differently. In the fog is in the fog. Only the cheating spouse can clear the fog.

      My CH saw me going through a terrible ordeal with a family member (illness) who unexpectedly died after a 3 week illness. Talk about devastation. And he told me he wanted ton divorce me twice during this time (3 days before the death). He was in the fog.

      His midlife crisis almost destroyed us. We are still together and he admits every mistake. And yes, we were the model couple. Our friends did envy us. We were happy. No real issues.

      Except he is a three time CH. I realize that if the offending party will not change, then the BS must change. I still get upset over things when in find them out years later, but I am working on that. But I am stronger and wiser and put me and children first, he is no longer “my world”.

      Funny thing if I died tomorrow I would die happy. Not b/c of what he did but in spite of what he did. I have the life I wished for. Just wish it did not come with baggage from him. But I have grown and learned.

      Been in your shoes in same exact situation. One day you will either get what you want and deserve – he ends the affair for good and starts to be your loving H, OR you end it with a clear head that you did everything possible to try and make it work BUT he would not change and you had to leave or end it for your sake.

      Remember many guys want what they cannot have. Right now he has you. Things can change if he realizes he no longer does.

  12. TryingHard June 11, 2015 at 9:58 pm #

    SR
    You didn’t know until you went to buy your own furniture that he and the creep had been there buying furniture for her? You just found this out on your own shopping trip?

  13. TryingHard June 11, 2015 at 10:00 pm #

    SR and EG
    I told my husband that I didn’t love him any less but I did hate him a little more:)

    • Strengthrequired June 12, 2015 at 12:49 am #

      Th, your right I didn’t know, yet if this and other things that have popped up over the years, eventually it comes out, you can’t hide these things forever, even if the cs wants to.
      I like how you said that you loved him the same, just hated him that much more. That’s a great way to put it.

      • Strengthrequired June 12, 2015 at 12:52 am #

        You know th, I used to tell my husband that I don’t hate, prior to his affair, wasn’t fussed on a few people, but didn’t hate. Now ask me, and I will tell you, I have hate in me now, not just a dislike, hate. I don’t like that he brought that out in me now, well him and his family. All of them……

      • TryingHard June 12, 2015 at 9:34 am #

        I’m sorry you were humiliated yet again. How embarrassing that must have been to be standing in that store only to be told your husband had been in there previously to buy furniture for his girlfriend. I’ve had a couple of the incidents as well. Of course it doesn’t help any that I now work where she worked and her stink is all over this place.

        I really don’t hate anyone personally. I hate what they do. I’ve learned it doesn’t matter how good or kind or forthright you are to some people it’s never good enough and they are going to screw you over if they want to. I hate this about all humanity though. Only looking out for yourself. I try very hard not to take it personally but sometimes it’s impossible. So yes I hate what my husband did. I hate that a former employee stabbed me in the back for her own gain. I hate that the OW thought it was perfectly ok to go after my husband and take my marital assets for her own gain. I hate that about people and I just have to believe if they knew better they would do better. Fact is they choose NOT to do better. I have to believe deep down they know what they do is wrong but they do it anyway. Doing it anyway is the part I don’t get!

        • Strengthrequired June 12, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

          Th, ohh Hun, I wasn’t humiliated, I didn’t let the salesperson know that the order she was mentioning was something ordered for my husbands mistress. I was upset but kept my cool in front of her, yet let me just say, I couldn’t wait to get up and give my husband a call and let him know I knew.
          A lot of our furniture is from there, now I’m not sure I like our furniture. Lol. Maybe I should tell him I want to replace everything from there. Lol. Yet I know it’s not a rational thing to do. Why let this scragit get the upper hand over me.
          Thsnkyou for being the lovely person you are.

  14. Over It June 19, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

    I was with a guy for three years we broke up and continued to see each other for 2 more years. Just stopped seeing him in April. I got with him after being depressed for 2 years after my Divorce, he was everything that I always wanted. This person and I started out as him cheating on his then fiance, and leaving her and being with me, then he was with me, cheated on me and in between those years, I count about 4 more, THAT I KNOW OF. I would confront him, I mean his lies were so good. I believed them all and even when I felt STUPID for letting things go,, I still stayed and tried to continue to love this person. Even after I kept hearing rumors, they would say, Oh your with “Him” Oh, Once I told a friend who I was dating, she said to me, Girl don’t fool with him and all his woman. I should have listened, but when the brain is lit up like a XMas tree with infatuation, u dont listen. Well my point that has me a little angry….He now lives with another woman, one of the 4/5 that he always said was only a friend and nothing more. I should not be angry as I cheated with him on his X fiance, but I am. He still wants to sex me, I say NO because that will put me back in that April place of sadness. Its so diff but I will remain strong, I remember all of the times I was sad inside, crying and just DAMN depressed with Migranes, This guy was perfect for me, I mean everything! I guess I wasent as perfect for him as he was for me. Once I got fed up. I left for good. I still love him and if ONE day he would be ALL MINE and not the entire city’s property I’d take him back in a New York Minute. I jus want to remain strong and stay away from him and make better choices, hell I’m too old for this mess. I jus hate feeling stupid when I think back over the lies, I tell myself you were in love and did’nt see things clearly, but now I am clear and no matter what I will not go back and I will listen to my very good friend in the future, about slime balls! I just wanna stop thinking about him. TOTALLY

    • Amanda June 23, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

      Over it, sorry to hear that things aren’t going too well in your life right now. The only thing I can really say is that a person can’t be too shocked when the person they at one time cheated with turns around and cheats on him/her. This doesn’t mean that you can’t hurt or feel torn up about it, but just that you can’t be surprised that it’s now happening to you. And I’m not saying this as the betrayed spouse but as the spouse who had the emotional affair. If I ended up leaving my husband for the man I had the affair with, I know for certain that there would be a great chance that he could someday cheat on me. Try your very best to focus on that little tidbit while you’re healing from his affairs. I’ve always believed a person who cheats once isn’t necessarily a cheater. Similar to a person who smokes one cigarette isn’t a smoker, but I gotta say, the guy you describe here is a classic serial cheater. Without some serious counseling and soul searching, he will most likely always cheat. My advice would be to stay far away from him. As to getting over him, have ZERO contact. Don’t even look at pictures, texts or emails. If a song comes on the radio that reminds you of him, turn it off. It’s tough, but if you want it bad enough, you can get over him, or so I’ve heard.

  15. TrustingGod June 19, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

    Over It,

    If you would take back Mr. Perfect Cheater if he was all yours, you need to go visit chumplady.com.

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